Keeping to my focus on the heart and soul of our people, I would like to draw your attention to a change that is happening right before our eyes. It is important that we see this, but, as reader, Bill Horvat, commented, our normalcy bias is getting in our way. We see the America of our youth, and our founding, so we cannot easily see the America of today. But the signs that we have changed are all around us and we need to open our eyes to them. Here are just a few:
Associated Press president Gary Pruitt on Wednesday slammed the Department of Justice for acting as “judge, jury and executioner” in the seizure of the news organization’s phone records and he said some of the wire service’s longtime sources have clammed up in fear.
AFP – The US government’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records had a “chilling effect” on newsgathering by the agency and other news organizations, AP’s top executive said Wednesday.
“Some longtime trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking with us,” AP president and chief executive Gary Pruitt said in a speech to the National Press Club.
But this change is not just in the federal government: it has spread to those we have always been able to trust most – the police and military. In this story, we hear law enforcement supporting a clear violation of several Constitutional rights (freedom of assembly, association and right of redress):
In the past, the U.S. military has participated in the unconstitutional seizure of personal weapons (Katrina), and has obeyed unlawful orders (aided Al Qaeda in Libya, and now, in Syria).
What do we do about this? Again, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE DO, I only know and control what I DO! So, what am I going to do? Well, for one, I am not going to just give authorities my blind trust: they have demonstrated they no longer deserve it. No one in the government has any more authority over you than you have over your neighbor. When they assume such power, they have actually violated the spirit of the Constitution, and the spirit matters. It is what the Constitution is all about; what it is supposed to preserve for all of society.
I’m also not going to surrender my equal right to interpret what the Constitution says and means. A republic is not about electing a tyrant every so many years and then having to just live with whatever that tyrant decides to do until the next election. A republic is based on citizen legislatures who work through their representatives. This means we are all equal in determining what our laws mean. We do not need ‘experts’ to interpret them for us. Why do you think the founders left the final decision on all legal matters with the jury? You and I are the jury and – though our ‘authorities’ will try to tell us otherwise, as a jury member – no matter what the Congress, President and Supreme Court may say about it — we can decide a law is unlawful. That is because we, THE PEOPLE, are the ultimate source of political power in our system.
However, if we lay down and refuse to accept our responsibility and we neglect the associated duties that go along with that responsibility, there are those who will seek to take them from us. Luckily, they can only take it if we refuse to defend it. So, I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I will defend my rights by whatever means I can that does not harm another person – whether it is ‘legal’ or not.